The primary objective of a business, we all would agree is to make money and more money, for now and forever; and to make money the main task is to sell. As Eli Goldratt rightly put it, the goal of an organization is to maximize Throughput while keeping the expenses low and in this context Throughput is rate at which the organization generates money through sales.
It is said that the secret of a good sales person is not about the knowledge and experience on the product, but the attitude- The one with the selling attitude is simply the right choice. As the fable goes a businessman who owned a shoe making business sent out his two sons to an island to explore the shoe market. After one week of being there, both sons were able to submit their reports. One reported back that there were no opportunities out there “as the population simply does not wear shoes” The other son reported back “the opportunities are enormous as the locals do not wear shoes. There is no other competitor here and we have the whole market to ourselves”. The cliché goes that the person with the selling attitude can sell ice to Eskimos.
Quite often we would have come across people selling wares and products who simply do not seem to have the interest, the desire, and the pride to sell their product. Such sales persons can dissuade us to buy a product. We can go out with the intention of buying a product and return without buying; and on the other hand if we encounter a salesperson with a high selling attitude we may buy a product which we never intended to. I see China as nation with this great attitude, as someone commented- the government there is communist, but the people are capitalists. The Digital Plaza in Shanghai is one such place which is vibrant and energetic; even if you are warned to be cautious of the product you buy, you may return buying at least a pen drive if not a lap top. Well I did buy a lap top about four years back and it works!!
While we look at an organization, the question to ask is if the selling attitude is just the requirement of the sales and marketing personnel or of all people; and the answer to this was given to me several years back by a senior at work who said, " all people in an organization have to be sales people" and I agree all of us must have the selling attitude.
Let's take some examples of functions and see why the selling attitude is important:
Quality Assurance- the QA personnel led by their leader must sell the concept of the importance of Quality to all in the organization. Ensuring quality is not just by improving the process and systems but by getting everyone to understand and appreciate the importance and this is where the selling skills come to play. The salesman in the QA Manager has to project the function as the one that brings and sustains business and not of a mere inspection department. Some QA managers whine about their top management not supporting them, but apparently herein the QA manager has not done the selling bit.
The OD& L function- The OD & L personnel have to make learning and development an attraction and they have to be evangelists of the cause and do everything possible to enhance learning and its effectiveness. Bringing visibility and measuring success is one of the key steps in the process. The L&D team's selling attitude is what will increase the attendance in programs and this is achieved by steps like sending meeting requests to participants rather than just emails, providing feedback to trainers for improvement, working on getting new trainers and also on improving the training hall including the refreshments provided.
The Talent Acquisition Team- This team plays a major role in selling to the potential candidates about how the organization is a great place to work. This is vital because this also helps good branding and failing to sell will cause a potential talent be acquired by the competitor
Similarly all functions will have to have this attitude, which will help the Procurement team to get the best vendors, the Engineering team to sell their design concepts to sales and customers and the Production team to manufacture products high quality products with the intention to sell to increase revenues.
All functions and personnel working with a selling attitude will drive a company to be an ever flourishing one.